V is for.....

Ok, so now I'm about to establish that I'm one of those people that just can't leave well enough alone

As if you didn't know that already.

And since my my tongue in cheek sabre rattling blog style has essentially left me stranded with the label of "hack" (no one finds vegan zombies amusing but me it seems)

I thought I'd leave it to some peer reviewed academics to argue my case for me, mainly the work of Kathryn Paxton George, Department of Philosophy, University of Idaho

But just a reminded to those who didn't quite understand my intent at the outset of the previous furore. The purpose of this post is to speak generally about veganism and vegetarianism not about specific vegans or vegetarians. It is not a personal attack and I'd prefer it if you didn't read it as so.


Paxton George, K., 1994, "Discrimination and bias in the vegan ideal", Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 7, 1, 1187-7863.

Abstract
The vegan ideal is entailed by arguments for ethical veganism based on traditional moral theory (rights and/or utilitarianism) extended to animals. The most ideal lifestyle would abjure the use of animals or their products for food since animals suffer and have rights not to be killed. The ideal is discriminatory because the arguments presuppose a male physiological norm that gives a privileged position to adult, middle-class males living in industrialized countries. Women, children, the aged, and others have substantially different nutritional requirements and would bear a greater burden on vegetarian and vegan diets with respect to health and economic risks, than do these males. The poor and many persons in Third World nations live in circumstances that make the obligatory adoption of such diets, where they are not already a matter of sheer necessity, even more risky.

Traditional moral theorists (such as Evelyn Pluhar and Gary Varner whose essays appear in this issue) argue that those who are at risk would be excused from a duty to attain the virtue associated with ethical vegan lifestyles. The routine excuse of nearly everyone in the world besides adult, middle-class males in industrialized countries suggests bias in the perspective from which traditional arguments for animal rights and (utilitarian) animal welfare are formulated.


This is key to what I was trying to argue in the last post. For example, mal-nourishment and even starvation still plagues many people in the Third World and from my own personal experience in Cambodia, I can attest that in the main wet season, while the rice is still growing and the fields are inundated with water, vegetables rot and there is often little else to eat aside from fish, amphibians and insects. This matter of ecology imposes such limits on diet that even monks in this part of the world are mostly only semi-vegetarian. Should western vegans in the industrialised world be seen to inhabit a moral high ground because of the luxury that access to plentiful vegan foodstuffs provide? It seems to me just another way in which the over-privileged manage to lay claim to moral superiority, as if the aid industry weren't enough in itself.

Indeed, one of the key things that struck me when I was researching for this post was how out of touch the debate on the morality of veganism or vegetarianism is with the practicalities of survival for the majority of the world's inhabitants. The enormity of research on nutrition for vegans analysed the risks associated and how to manage them including the need for extensive supplements which are expensive. In some extreme cases vegans have ended up in hospital. Veganism and vegetarianism, at least in the part of the world I live in are thus associated with people of higher class and privileged backgrounds, those that can manage the risks, afford health care and supplements. Thus as Paxton argues, veganism or vegetarianism cannot be seen as a universal moral code but merely relegated to a cultural quirk often associated with wealth, education and class.

Mosy on over to page 216 "A feminist critique of vegetarianism" in The Animal Ethics Reader and read further....some of the pages are not there but you'll be able to get the gist of her debate

Finally, Kathryn also has a book published on the subject, Animal, Vegetable, Woman, Feminist, Vegetarianism

Of which the amazon reviewer says:

Kathryn Paxton George challenges the view held by noted philosophers Tom Regan and Peter Singer and ecofeminists Carol Adams and Deane Curtin who assume the Principle of Equality to argue that no one should eat meat or animal products. She shows how these renowned individuals also violate the Principle of Equality, because they place women, children, adolescents, the elderly, and many others in a subordinate position. She reviews the principal arguments of these major ethical thinkers, offers a detailed examination of the nutritional literature on vegetarianism, and shows how this inconsistency arises and why it recurs in every major argument for ethical vegetarianism. Included is her own view about what we should eat, which she calls "feminist aesthetic semi-vegetarianism." "George has presented original, often compelling, arguments against ethical vegetarianism. Relying on well-researched evidence of nutritional and material differences among humans based on age, gender, race, class, and cultural location, George shows respects in which current arguments for vegetarianism falsely presuppose a male physiological norm and ideal. This book is necessary reading for animal rights advocates, feminists, ethicists, or anyone else interested in interconnected health and ethical issues concerning vegetarianism." - Karen J. Warren, author of Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters

"This broadly provocative book should be controversial, worthy of being attacked on several fronts. It is central to two large topics: feminist philosophy and the moral status of animals. It will not be the last word on any of the controversial issues that it touches upon, but it is unequivocally the next word."
- Paul B. Thompson, author of Food Biotechnology in Ethical Perspective

And no my freezer isn't stuffed with meat and no I don't enjoy torturing kittens. I do however get annoyed when I can't get a point across well enough and blogging isn't always the perfect forum. I'm hoping that this post will at least release the angsty tension I seem to get under circumstances of miscommunication and I won't have to spend another afternoon running out my annoyance at the gym

16 comments:

    your point was understood on your first doozy of a post. you are only proving yourself to be a very close-minded and intolerant person the more you write about something you have never been! it's strange, because though i couldn't care less about what other people think of veganism, it really bums me out that there are people my age, who are friends with my friends, who are so amazingly intolerant. and frankly that scares the shit out of me for the future of humanity. i mean, geez, i obviously don't like that people eat animal products, but i don't post blogs about how those people think they're better than everyone and rich spoiled brats because heck i understand that people aren't all the fucking same, and that's what makes the world go round. and of course i know plenty of nice meat-eaters as well. it's your blog, obviously, you can say whatever you like, just be aware it makes you sound like a really uninformed, insecure person with no friends who are vegan obviously, or maybe then you could begin to have some sort of semi-valid opinion about vegans themselves. and if my grass-fed cow comment didn't make you grin even a bit, then you also have no sense of humor.

     

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     

    damn! I thought of another thing! haha. maybe i am as addicted to arguing as you Maylee. Erik will die when he reads this. he thinks these type of internet arguments are the definition of pointless.

    you mention that veganism would not work in developing countries, but many people in Africa live almost entirely off of maize or other grain porridges, and veges like yams that are not so affected by extreme weather. This is from some random web page called faqs.org:
    "In the traditional African diet, meat and fish are not the focus of a meal, but are instead used to enhance the stew that accompanies the mash or porridge. Meat is rarely eaten, though it is well-liked among carnivorous (meat-eating) Africans."

    some developing nations value meat and anything scarce and tasty is bound to be seen as a luxury.
    this does not mean the thing itself has some intrinsic value.
    i mean, i am fond of it sometimes myself but i do not think it would make much difference to the planet or our society if i stopped eating meat.

    oranges used to be given as christmas presents in England because they were so rare,
    but does that mean there is a moral imperative for me to eat oranges?

     

    I thought i would reword my first comment slightly... i am trying to edit my emotional responses in both a literal and metaphorical sense!


    I guess none of us will lose that agitated 'i need to run down the gym feeling' as long as we keep arguing about this - it's the nature of internet flaming. Somehow, internet arguments just get under people's skin. It might be irrational or even amusing. Normally it results in pages and pages of diatribe were people get ever more extreme and/or personal in their comments. And then you find yourself wanting to go out there with a sledgehammer and murder 'Dubman79' because of his LoL at the end of his post and the three smiling devil emoticons.

    On the internet at least, it's usually much funnier when someone is making fun of themselves. unless it's done in a way that also doesn't seem to make one take oneself too seriously (Like that guardian foodwriter who went vegan for a week)


    If it's argument for arguments sake that people are enjoying I'd love it if we could pick a different topic to argue. i know this one happens to be pleasingly controversial right now, but it's controversial at the expense of the feelings of a friend of mine.

    or as i mentioned before, I'd much prefer to revisit this by means of self-parody... remember my original idea where we make caricatures of ourselves, you chewing on an ox-tail or a dead insect, me crying into a hollowed-out eggplant full of quinoa,
    perhaps I could be sobbing "vegans are people tooooo"

    for better or worse, it already offended someone I care about, and so it already moved beyond a 'neutral', 'impersonal' humour-filled angle for me. I'm already feeling that woozy throb of internet-flaming ringing in my ears again.

    i know that molly is an abstract vegan entity to some of you, but to me she is a real person, and this whole thing started with my posts talking about how I wanted to cook for my wedding, and i happened to choose to make some vegan things. this was a topic filled with happiness for me. Now it's become all icky and mean. so I would have preferred to revisit this in a more truly humorous manner than to stir the pot once again.

    but having established that I am loathe to get into this again, I must ironically step back into the shit by adding the following:

    a) the argument that men are forcing women into a patriarchal form of veganism is quite funny, based on the vegans I know. i mean, this part is actually amusing. my two best vegan friends (one boy, one girl) are far from being radical adherents to some male vegan overlord :-)
    they are gentle, cute and quite feminine. they are both extremely imaginative and also have good sense of self. I would find it hard to find fault with either of them actually. They both have great hair. I've never done karaoke with either of them but I have a feeling they might be better at it than me.

    b)since we're in argument mode, i might add that it makes no sense at all to say that because some cambodians had to eat fish and insects, that we are all morally obliged to eat whatever is edible in the entire world.
    most western meat eaters do not eat insects, or pigs liver, or chicken's feet for that matter. for their part the majority of the western world's meat eaters are a thousand times more wasteful of the earth's arable land. beans and grains per hectare, 'n' all that.

    c)if I was stranded on a desert island with a choice of a vegan, a priest or food expert, I would go with the vegan. There would be more chance that any living food on that island would be destined for me stomach alone. And the vegan would be more likely (based on my experience) to be able to strike up a chat about obscure marlene dietrich or klaus kinski films, or rare New Order b-sides. or photoshop an owl on top of a synthesiser.

    d) being bourgeois (god I can never spell that word) -if we're going to quibble about it - is definitely a problem in the western world..but I find it much more elegant to respond to a bourgeois society by abstaining from something, than by the usual gluttony.
    An impoverished world where we have to eat insects is not what we all hope for - ideally there would always be enough corn to go round, and perhaps a little meat, if someone wants it. But I find it grosser when someone eats big fat steaks every night, tosses out the left overs of their tinned fois gras, or takes expensive supplements and works out with their personal trainer over video-chat.

    d) a shocking revelation, which might discredit all of my arguments: I quite like animals - sometimes. I mean, when they're not clawing my clothes or shitting on my bed, ya know.

    i guess that this argument is going to continue (which is now my fault)
    i hope that I will find the will power not to make any further posts on it though,
    I'll leave it to the rest o y'all
    please dive right in
    It would be nicer if it would be here in the comments page rather than making this 'Bash vegans' week on the main Gut Feelings page again.

     
    On 23 July 2008 at 23:51 thisislame said...

    Maytel-- I agree with you. Veganism in the U.S. and similar countries etc., is really a form of snobbery that luxury allows. There's no "closed-mindedness" involved at all in thinking that. Veganism is a choice; choice comes hand in hand with luxury. If you're allergic, that's one thing, but we're talking about the luxury of being picky here. If these Vegans grew up in a third world country,(which my parents did-- my mom had to eat dog soup while she was trying to escape a civil war) the thought of having dietary option based on moral grounds would not even cross their minds at all. You eat what is available-- there is nothing unnatural about that and there is something really unnatural about cutting away so many different types of food-- in fact, I would consider the latter act to be "closed-minded." The fact that you have the option of thinking about chickens as your equal is a western thing-- that's a luxury that hungry people in other countries can't even fathom. And kina, stop being ridiculous, I doubt Maytel meant that we're morally obligated to eat whatever is available-- after all, no one is walking around eating leaves from trees. More likely she is saying, if there is nothing available but trees, then there is nothing wrong with eating leaves... same as there is nothing wrong with eating meat when it is available.
    Outside of this whole meat vs. no meat ethic debate, you gotta consider something more important. TASTE. A lot of dishes, ethnic dishes especially, taste better with meat so let's leave that well enough alone.
    Molly-- like you said, this is a blog, she's stating an opinion, and if she happens to think vegans are spoiled brats, then so be it. Why don't you go to PETA board where everyone wants to roast Jessica Simpson for wearing some stupid t-shirt? (as if some silly celebrity is really going to bring the end of the world) Also, from person experience, i'm not even exaggerating, most of the vegans i know have wealthy parents and describe themselves as "middleclass.") Last, from that post, it looks as if you're the one without a sense of humor (can't even make fun of yourself?) I have a vegan friend and she would never get all up in arms about some post on a food blog-- a culturally-rich food blog, no less.
    Get over yourself people. Chillax, and have a burger.

     

    "Veganism in the U.S. and similar countries etc., is really a form of snobbery that luxury allows .... If these Vegans grew up in a third world country,(which my parents did-- my mom had to eat dog soup while she was trying to escape a civil war) the thought of having dietary option based on moral grounds would not even cross their minds at all."

    I can't follow your logic here. No-one in this little furor has suggested that ominvores must go vegan; the debate isn't over "crusading vegans", but vegans generally.

    I mean, I hate to go all dictionary on your ass, but...

    "Snobbery: A snob, guilty of snobbery, is someone who adopts the worldview that some people are inherently inferior to him/her for any one of a variety of reasons including real or supposed intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, etc."

    Vegan: Dairy-free, egg-free and devoid of all animal-derived ingredients.

    What's your logic for thinking that the latter implies the former? How do simple dietary choices based on moral/ethical grounds add up to a "worldview that some people are inherently inferior to him/her"? It basically doesn't make sense!

    Veganism is a luxury most easily enjoyed in a developed nation, true, but so is affirmative action, or fair hiring practices, or workplace health and safety regulations, or welfare, or free medicine (well, US notwithstanding), or recycling systems...

    It seems to me that the main anti-vegan argument here is that they laim claim to a moral superiority which doesn't exist.

    That's a big argument, but even if it's true, there's no need to be personally affronted by vegans. I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian, but I have rarely found them condescending to me personally. Those that feel superior to me because of dietary choices usually have a whole host of asshole behaviours; the veganism isn't the cause, it's just a tool for them to be a dick.

    It's like religion, you know? I don't subscribe to all the moral beliefs of Buddhists or Muslims or Christians, and I don't think the world would be a better place if everyone belonged to one religion, but as long as they don't get in my face about it I'm perfectly happy for them to live their lives and they're perfectly happy for me to live mine. We can be best friends even! Same thing with vegans and their ethical decisions and lifestyle choices.

    Err, anyway, rant over...

     

    here here Tim.... nicely put.

    Thisislame: "The fact that you have the option of thinking about chickens as your equal is a western thing-- that's a luxury that hungry people in other countries can't even fathom. "

    Actually, some 'non-western' countries (which apparently, according to your logic, are all exactly the same) were historically animist (a religion or philosophy depending on your POV). That means that some of these societies think not only are people and chickens basically the same (i.e. they both have a soul), they also think rocks and clouds and old boots have spirits in them.

    Of course, I wouldn't lump all these countries into one categorisation, but here are some countries with either a historical or current practise of animistic beliefs:
    Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, India, Gabon, the Republic of Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, Timor Leste, the United States and Mexico.

    Many animistic peoples that respect and even worship animals, often regard them as relatives. But there are a whole lot of different manifestations. Like different ice cream flavours of animism if you will.

    Shinto (japan) regards humans as slightly apart/separate from other 'things with souls'. Thus they are pretty OK with eating them (although the Japanese lived for a long time off only vegetables and a little bit of shellfish). Other animist cultures might make a noxious animal sacred, or a particular animal might be slaughtered for divine honours (e.g. a bear).

    Allow me, if you will, to copy and paste some schtick from the internet:
    "IIn Thailand it is believed that a white elephant may contain the soul of a dead person, perhaps a Buddha. When one is taken the capturer is rewarded and the animal brought to the king to be kept ever afterwards. It cannot be bought or sold. It is baptized and fêted and mourned for like a human being at its death. In some parts of Indo-China the belief is that the soul of the elephant may injure people after death; it is therefore fêted by a whole village. In Cambodia it is held to bring luck to the kingdom. The cult of the white elephant is also found at Ennarea in southern Ethiopia. In India, the popular Hindu god Ganesha has the head of an elephant and a torso of a human."

    I love it when people say "it's a western thing", lumping together millennia of culture from a wide variety of regions like it ain't no thing. By the way, if it's a western thing to eat bread instead of rice, is this also morally wrong?

    A couple more questions - do you also think buddhist vegetarians are lame, Thisislame? even though "it's an eastern thing"?
    Would you tell a Hindu on Cow Holiday to "chillax and eat a burger"?

    A bit more internet pilfering about Buddhism: "One of the most important sanctions of the Buddhist faith is the concept of ahimsa, or refraining from the destruction of life (Regenstein 1991, p. 234). According to Buddhist belief, humans do not deserve preferential treatment over other living beings. Thus, the world is not specifically meant for human use and should be shared equally amongst all creatures (Epstein 1990). Buddhists recognize that all animals are sentient and are capable of feeling pain, grief, fear, happiness, and hunger, unlike some other religious sects (Regenstein 1991, p. 234-235). The Dalai Lama once said in an interview, “Even ants and other insects will run away from danger… They have intelligence and want to live too. Why should we harm them?” (Qtd. in Regenstein 1991, p. 235). Not believing in inflicting harm on any living, sentient being, most Buddhists also follow a vegetarian diet to avoid causing pain to animals (Regenstein 1991, p. 238).
    Avoiding the destruction of life can also hinder aspects outside of a Buddhist’s diet, such as travel plans. In order to avoid crushing any living thing, be it plant, insect, or animal, Buddhist monks do not travel during rainy seasons (Regenstein 1991, p. 236). Originally, shortly after Buddhism was first founded, monks traveled during all seasons, but the public opinion changed this. The people protested that so much life was crushed and destroyed when monks traveled during the wet season. As a result, monks were required to seek shelter during this season and abstain from going on journeys (Chapple 1993, p. 22)."

    The above cutting and pasting is really just to prove the point that the 'not eating animals' or 'caring about animals' thing can't really be reduced to east vs west or developed vs undeveloped.

    The only thing left to say at this point is...
    Thisislame!

     

    PS: to follow that line of logic about the tree that you raised:

    i think Molly and I would agree - it's ok if you choose to eat the leaves from the tree.

    if there happens to be another plant - a yam, say - that is more economic in terms of arable land use,

    is it really 'wrong' of me to choose to eat the yam?
    even if the tree leaves, in your opinion, taste better?

     

    well I'm an atheist so I can't comment on what may have a soul or not, nor do I even care.

    I think the more general issue I am railing against here, if anyone is even following this debate anymore is the idea that veganism/ vegetarianism is a) morally superior and b) environmentally superior.

    I ask this because I have an fundamental suspicion of absolutes and universals, in the way that anyone that spent far too long in the social sciences is likely to have. In my view universals are what got us into trouble with the current food system and they are unlikely to get us out of this trouble,

    When not in Bangkok I inhabit the corridors of a resource management department at a university. As you might imagine much of my and my collaegues time is spent researching and writing about human interactions with the environment. I write more specifically about development interventions in agriculture. Not that I'm trying to lay out my credentials, more to give you guys an understanding of where I'm coming from.

    As I said, its got nothing to do with anyone personally, I see veganism/ vegetarianism almost as another attempt at a form of resource management in one sense and me being me I wonder about the social/cultural/environmental/ economic systems that lead one to such a resource management approach at the level of self-hood. Knowing what I know about agriculture, trade and development I know that the occurance of the particular brand of western ethical vegan or veganism (not religiously driven, but ethically driven) could not occur outside of certain circumstances; perhaps a moral philosophy based on the western centric notion of rights, further extended to animals, a seasonal abundance of vegan/vegetarian foods, etc etc etc

    The point, that I have been trying to make all along is that for numerous people around the world who in varying ecologies, and are at different physiological states of being that make veganism a risk to their survival, it is niether ethical or sometimes environmentally benign to abstain from meat eating.

    I agree that in the realms of industrialised society and more specifically industrialised food chains, the choice to eat meat results in a great deal of negative externality and that in these cases veganism may be the better option. As I said before in a previous deleted post, it is a screwed up world where the choice not to eat an animal leads to their decline in numbers not the other way around.

    but for those who do not have the pleasure of opting out of the industrial system, meat eating exists within a very different set of considerations. Meat eating may be part of heard management, where eating meat is actually key to heard survival. It may be seen as the wise use of resources where for example a farmer who does not use tractors but uses bullocks all of his life to assist in farm production, finally eats the bullock at the end of its working life.

    Given this I think it is time for everyone to move away from the idea that ethical veganism/ vegetarianism is de facto good for the environment and/ or morally superior. It can be seen so within some contexts but not in others

    I therefore urge people instead not to blindly stick to the rigours of one diet, but to eat sensitively to the environment in which they find themselves. This may include grass fed cows, or ant egg soup or veganism if necessary

    finally when Kathryn G. Paxton speaks of the western male body, she is speaking of it in an abstract sense. The white male body is often the default position from which many moral and ethical philosophies are argued, They do not mean literally white males advocating veganism onto women. Instead Paxton argues that when you look at what is advocated closely then you realise that it would be risky for many people that lie outside of the default position. White male is metaphor for the dominant ideal,

     

    haha i love the personal attack youarelame. it's also rife with more vegan stereotypes like how 'we' (since we aren't considered people anymore but some weird cult) love PETA. peta is a necessary evil in my book, and i would really rather not hang out on the forum there. this whole thing is pretty funny seeing as, i often read this blog cos a friend of mine posts on it, as well as her friends, and there is plenty of meat in it, and i am far from complaining about it!

    "most of the vegans i know have wealthy parents and describe themselves as "middleclass.")"

    that's funny so are most of my meat-eating pals. maybe we're not so different?

    and seriously, couldn't you replace vegans with a lot of words in that sentence? also like indie kids? people who wear cargo shorts? smoothie-drinkers? stuffwhitepeoplelike.com?

    "Last, from that post, it looks as if you're the one without a sense of humor (can't even make fun of yourself?)"
    it's obvious you know me very well after the years we spent together.

    as earlier mentioned, i don't care at all about what people think of veganism but it's really scary territory negatively stereotyping whole groups of people based on their diet, worst of all a diet based in helping out other beings. it baffles me how anyone could be offended by that. or really why they even care!

    and yes, i have grown up in the western hemisphere and if i had one euro to my name i would still buy some beans and rice. if you need to imagine me post-apocalypse on a deserted island hunting and eating spider monkeys, then do that if it will make you settle down.

    kinako, i love your comments, the devil horns emoticons comment almost made me fall out of my seat. thanks everyone else for being reasonable.

     

    heheh.

    i actually have to go catch a train to a meeting so i can't reply properly to miss maytel,
    can only quickly add that
    no one of us here is arguing that veganism is universally good and/or morally superior,

    (although it actually happens that with regards to a majority of western farming practises, meat production is a less intensive use of land for food production... so although not universally more ecologically sound,
    it has more benefits to sow beans and grains than to save a few industrially bred pigs, whether we created them or evolved alongside them or not)

    I'm all for ethical herd culling, kangaroos included
    And I don't think vegans would mind if less animals were bred for meat.
    :-)

    while you say you are against universals, it still feels like you're trying to argue that veganism is universally bad :-)

     

    oops!
    i just re read your post and you did say that veganism could be the right choice in some circumstances

    i guess the only point on which we somehow seem to disagree,
    is that it is a valid lifestyle choice by someone who has no immediate survival need to eat meat,

    like Molly wrote, it is ok if someone wants to eat beans & rice, isn't it?

    i like the comment about having to imagine molly on the Survival island with only monkeys to eat, heheh

     

    i never said anything about survival on an island

    there's nothing wrong with rice and beans and I'm happy if that's all someone choses to eat

    I'm not at all talking on a personal level. I don't know how many times I'll have to say that

    I'm asking valid questions about the moral arguments for veganism that we're all aware of (i don't need to spell them out do I) and so far no one has really given me any good answers

    its a shame...

    I have a lot of questions and I think its time that some of these questions were asked...I'd really even like to be convinced through a well thought out argument doesn't involve the rights discourse

    I'm sorry that I used your wedding to lead into these questions I wish I hadn't used it as my lead in...Hock said I should wait to post about these things, but I thought he meant a few days but he really meant months

     

    maybe we can have "20 questions on veganism" and have guest respondent write their answers so that no one feels like they have been drastically misunderstood

     

    the thing is I wouldn't presume to know what motivates every single vegan and personally, as I've established, I'm OK with a buddhist not wanting to harm insects, just as much as I am with a vegan not wanting to eat honey, if they are not, as Tim put it, being a dick about it (in which case I don't think their personality problems are only explained by their eating choices).


    I know, it's established, that you think it's 'time' to challenge their beliefs... but to me it's not really a Big Issue for today..
    Newsflash: A Tiny Fraction of the Developed World's Population Really Love Animals.
    This Terrible Bourgeois Habit Exposed!

    As I did point out before, just because certain beliefs - whether it's because you're from an animistic religion, or just happen to feel that way - are not your beliefs, does not mean they are not valid.

    It is my belief that this is not something that can be logically argued.
    It's like religion.
    You could argue the existence of god with someone and get them really upset, but what's the point? Do you think you will somehow make them see the error of their ways? You might think you have a thousand reasons why eating animals is no more cruel than doing XYZ, but there will never be a good logical argument as to why it's wrong not to eat animals.

    I do categorically feel that there is nothing wrong with someone choosing to live their life in a way where they don't consume or hurt animals. I really can't see anything wrong with that,
    if, of course, animals are not the only thing they care about
    and it would only be convenient for the sake of argument to presume they are.
    Don't you think?

    And I can't stop gnawing the bone, since this is my fundamental stance... I would argue it until the cows come home

    By the way, I am writing this from a high speed train! how rad is that!

    where I should be working on a presentation instead of presenting my bleeding heart narratives
    :-)

    animals animals animals!
    I've never used the word animals so much in my entire life I think

     

    and if it isn't clear, i hate to argue with anyone, let alone you, but when there is a personal connection, I have a hard time letting it drop
    it really makes me tense & edgy
    I just am not built for arguments! My physical apparatus is weak

    if it helps, and there is another controversial belief system involving food that's worth arguing, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest

    I think only four other people I know (who are not contributors) bother to read this blog: one is a student,one a typographer, one a techno DJ, one works for the BBC

    As far as I know none of them has any particular religion or unusual eating habits

    So I'm pretty sure that you could raise any other topic on earth, and I would not try to argue with it. I wouldn't mind a bit.

     

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